Two Republican House members, including a leader on the Rules Committee, cast votes on the U.S. House floor despite missing Wednesday's swearing-in ceremony.
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions of Texas, who was appointed to the Rules Committee, and Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., each cast six votes whose validity is in question, since both men were absent from the general swearing-in conducted by House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, Politico reported Thursday.
At the recommendation of House parliamentarians, Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier, R-Calif., Thursday suspended a hearing on the repeal of the Obama administration's healthcare overhaul until the matter could be settled, committee spokeswoman Jo Maney told The Hill.
"During the swearing in of the 112th Congress, Congressman Sessions stated the oath publicly in the Capitol but was not on the House floor," Sessions spokeswoman Emily Davis said. "To ensure that all constitutional and House requirements are fulfilled, Congressman Sessions officially took the oath of office this afternoon from the House floor. Public records and votes will be adjusted accordingly."
Fitzpatrick participated in the reading of the Constitution on the House floor Thursday, where he heard these lines from the founding document: "The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution."
"Perhaps they should have read the Constitution yesterday rather than today," a senior Democratic aide quipped.